So where was I? Oh yea. We were going through the fixed costs. Things we need everyday. I think I covered food in the last post. Next would be accommodation. There are several choices for places to sleep and leave your gear while exploring a new city.
- Hostels. When I walked across Spain I stayed in hostels the entire time. They are fine when you have no need for privacy. They charge by the bed and are great for meeting other travelers. Anyone traveling alone should at least consider hostels. Some excellent hostels cost about $7 a night per bed. You can certainly pay more although you may not want to pay too much less if you have to make a reservation without seeing the place first. Marci and stayed in a couple hostels over the last six months. One was in Singapore and at $70 a night it was by far the most expensive room we have stayed in while in Southeast Asia. We also stayed in one in Ha Long Bay Vietnam and at $9 it was the least expensive room we have stayed in. Both had queen bed and private bath.
- Bed and Breakfast. Our favorite. These are small family run businesses that generally have a private room with en suite bath and people who are very happy to tell you about their home town. The rooms will vary. So will the breakfasts. But these places are always worth a gamble because of the traditional decor. They can be far away from city center but if you want an authentic restful experience try one. Marci and I are staying at one as I write this. The place is not luxurious but homey and since it is in the heart of Ubud Bali, it goes without saying it is beautiful. The price of a bed and breakfast can be as high as you are willing to pay but we can usually find one within our $20 a night budget. This one is only $16.
- Home stays. This is like bed and breakfast except you may actually be sharing a bath with the family and meeting up as you walk through the living room. Not much privacy but the price is right. Marci and I have not done this one yet because we like having a private bath. Some home stays have one child on the sofa so you may be in that kid’s room. Not for me. But…
- Serviced Apartments. We love serviced apartments. We stayed in two during our two month stay in Chiang Mai. They are simply all the things you love about being in a hotel without the price. Serviced apartments come with maid service on request. We stayed in one for $125 a month. Then we moved up to one for $225 a month. The truth is the first one was better. But with these types of places you pay in advance so make certain you love it before plunking down a month’s rent no matter how little it may be.
- Hotel. We stay in one of these most of the time. They are mostly those boxy rooms that look like you could be living anywhere in any town in any country in the world. What we like about them is we know they will be clean and well managed. They come in all price ranges so it is pretty easy to stay within our budget. After traveling for 14 hours on a train it is nice to arrive at a place you understand, and where at least someone will understand what you are saying. That being said we do still try to avoid recognizable brand name places. One, they usually are more expensive. Two, we want to give ourselves every chance to experience something we have never have before and there is no chance of that at a chain anything. Three, we want to spend our money with the local people as much as possible.
- Resorts. Believe it or not Marci and I did stay five days in a resort. It still cost less than that Singapore Hostel on a per night basis. We paid with our miles. It was Christmas in Vietnam, but the place was too far from town to see any sights. It was right on the beach. We swam and ate and laughed and missed our family. Overall it was a perfect all inclusive resort vacation. But we were not on vacation. This is our daily life for now. So we did not appreciate the experience as much as others might. Cruises are also all inclusive resorts. We have done several. Our longest was from Seattle to Singapore and is how we arrived in SE Asia.
This is getting too long. I will continue with actions for getting the right housing or accommodation at the price you want in the next post. Thank you for reading and sharing.